Insurance Underwriting Furthers Careers

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Underwriting is the vital part of the insurance industry, which ensures the industry�s profitability and reliability. Insurance companies accumulate billions of dollars annually by analyzing risk; falling under the category of risk includes potential car accidents and illness. Underwriters are employed by insurance companies to determine who receives insurance and under what circumstances, as well as how much insurance the recipients will receive. Underwriters have a difficult job in balancing these decisions, as business and important clients can be lost to an insurance company if an underwriter�s terms are either too conservative or too liberal.

An underwriter analyzes risk scenarios with the help of specialized computer programs using the information provided by potential clients in their insurance application forms. Their purpose in doing so is to decide whether or not the risk of accepting the client will result in loss for the insurance company and its investors. As a result, insurance applications often also require comments or certificates from doctors, and the analysis process involves data from a range of different sources, including hospitals and actuaries. In making their final decision, an underwriter considers almost every aspect of a person's life, for life and health insurances in particular, including a detailed family medical history.

The computer programs used, which are known as ''smart systems'', have links to a myriad of databases, which provide statistical information that informs the underwriter's analysis. The program also processes the analytical material into statistical risk and offers a recommendation as to whether or not the application should be accepted. Internet involvement in the process has dramatically changed the way in which underwriters work by reducing the amount of paperwork needed considerably and by minimizing the personal effort required in investigating statistical analysis. Insurance underwriters mainly focus on life and health insurance and insurance pertaining to property, mortgages and casualties.

Underwriting is a desk job, so those seeking employment with a physical element should think again about a career in insurance underwriting. Most of these jobs are located in company headquarters and official branch offices and so working conditions are typically comfortable. Examples of underwriting jobs include health insurance underwriting jobs, insurance underwriting jobs, and life insurance underwriting jobs. Some other branches of underwriting work involve onsite participation, particularly in property and construction insurance to collect data on building sites. A typical working week for insurance underwriters is about 40 hours a week, though this can vary between insurance companies according to job and department downsizing.

In order to get a job as an insurance underwriter, you need a college degree; most insurance companies look for graduates with degrees in finance or business administration. There are no common formal requirements, in terms of education, to become an insurance underwriter, but employers look for applicants with degrees that reflect high analytical and business skill. At the same time, any bachelor's degree can help you get into an entry level insurance underwriting job, particularly with the addition of short courses or certificates in business law or accounting. Insurance underwriters of any field also need a high level of skill in working with computer technology, specifically statistical and general analytical programs, as these are a central part of the insurance underwriter's job.

Most positions as insurance underwriters begin at an entry level traineeship, beginning by assisting other underwriters and collecting data from applicants, learning the operation of the workplace and of the job specific programs they will be required to use. This computer training may very possibly continue throughout an underwriter's career due to the fast changing nature of computer technology and statistical analysis programs. Because so much of the job involves constantly making good decisions, anyone hoping for a successful career as an insurance underwriter must have exceptionally good logic and intuition.

Once you've gotten the position you want, it is important to note that a degree of life long learning is necessary in order to rise in this career. This is in part due to the changing nature of technology, but it is also due to frequent adjustments and amendments made in insurance law and policies, business and administrative procedures and any number of other factors that could easily impact an insurance company and its clients. The more responsibility you oversee, and the higher you would like to be promoted, the more you need to focus on your continued education. Many companies offer additional training to their employees and it's a good opportunity to take.

Although there are many fields of work that require underwriters, the insurance industry is believed to employ the majority of them. Insurance companies and agencies, banks, real estate, and mortgage firms, typically employ underwriters, providing some range of choice for people in choosing where and in what environment they want to work. Demand for good underwriters will remain fairly high due to a high turnover in the profession and companies will also look to hire in order to recover from recent loss, sometimes due to bad choices from previous underwriters or else to negative economic effects on business.

Insurance underwriting jobs can be readily found on both specialist and general job search engines online. These can be a good source of information concerning what is available and what particular employers expect. There are also many professional industry journals that provide information on current jobs and on the industry in general.
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